Clinical, Imaging, and Pathologic Features of Conditions with Combined Esophageal and Cutaneous Manifestations

Radiographics. 2019 Sep-Oct;39(5):1411-1434. doi: 10.1148/rg.2019190052. Epub 2019 Aug 16.


A variety of clinically significant conditions can affect both the esophagus and the skin. Esophageal and cutaneous manifestations may directly reflect the underlying disease process, as in infections such as herpes simplex virus, bullous diseases such as epidermolysis bullosa and mucous membrane pemphigoid, connective tissue diseases such as systemic sclerosis, and inflammatory diseases such as lichen planus. Alternatively, esophageal and cutaneous findings may result from conditions that are closely associated with and potentially pathognomonic for but distinct from the underlying disease process, as in genetic diseases such as Cowden syndrome or paraneoplastic syndromes such as acrokeratosis paraneoplastica. Other diseases such as Crohn disease may have cutaneous manifestations that directly reflect the same underlying inflammatory process that affects the gastrointestinal tract or cutaneous manifestations that represent reactive or associated conditions distinct from the underlying inflammatory process. The cutaneous manifestations of disease may precede, coincide with, or follow the esophageal manifestations of disease. The authors present the characteristic clinical features and imaging findings associated with common and uncommon conditions that have esophageal and cutaneous manifestations. Each condition is presented with a brief overview, discussion of salient clinical and cutaneous manifestations, and description of the typical esophageal imaging findings, with particular attention to implications for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. Recognition of potential associations between cutaneous lesions and esophageal imaging findings is important for establishing a specific diagnosis or generating a meaningful differential diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Esophageal Diseases / complications
  • Esophageal Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes / complications
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes / diagnostic imaging
  • Prognosis
  • Skin Diseases / complications
  • Skin Diseases / diagnostic imaging*